17 Foods Andrew Zimmern Says You Have to Try at the State Fair
Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern is known for eating crazy food all over the world, but when he is home in Minnesota at the State Fair he considers himself a traditionalist:
Every year there’s a list of new food booths, serving every type of novelty deep-fried and on-a-stick creations, but when it comes down to it, half of the food sales comes from top 10 classic items. I am a traditionalist when it comes to state fair foods, so I don’t stray too far from the cheese curds and footlong hot dogs.
So take it from someone who has eaten bizarre things around the world, here is what YOU should be eating when you are at the Great Minnesota Get Together.
Gizmo - This is Zimmern's top pick for fair food. It is made of ground beef and Italian sausage covered in a secret red sauce and seasonings, topped with melted mozzarella cheese and served on a toasted Italian roll.
Kiwani Malt - This malt stand has been on the fairgrounds since 1969. They serve up the iconic dairy treat in chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors.
Speedy's About a Foot Long Hotdog - A no-frills, foot-long hotdog. That's it.
French Fries - Zimmern points out that this is the perfect food to easily walk around with and share with friends.
Original Cheese Curds - Andrew Zimmern has tried every curd at the fair, and claims the best ones come from the Original Cheese Curd stand on the south side of Dan Patch between Nelson and Underwood.
Sweet Martha's Cookies - Everyone goes nuts for these cookie buckets, and Zimmern is no exception.
Izzy's Ice Cream - Izzy's Ice Cream is available in the Hamline Dining Hall.
Cinnie Smiths - It's hard to beat the gooey center of a cinnamon roll, and Cinnie Smiths takes that and turns it into a dozen mini cinnamon rolls with a side of creamy vanilla soft serve.
Tom Thumb Donuts - It just isn't the fair without mini donuts. Zimmern claims the best ones come from Tom Thumb on the West side of Cooper between Wright and Dan Patch.
Deep Fried Smelt - One of the odder things on Zimmern's best of list is deep fried smelt from the Food Building. He says to enjoy it with the pimiento-spiked tartar sauce and a splash of malt vinegar.
Frozen Cider Pop - If you have been skipping the Horticulture building all these years, make it a point to stop this year. Inside it they serve apple cider freezies for just a dollar, made with real Minnesota apple cider.
Minneapple Pie - This stand is one that has popped up in recent years and became an instant crowd favorite. They make individual apple and pumpkin pies, deep-fried on site and served with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream - You can get this wacky ice cream at the Blue Moon Dine-In Theater.
Deep Fried Pickles - The line to get deep fried pickles at the fair might seem daunting and detour you from getting them, but trust me it moves fast and you'll be biting into those piping hot tangy discs before you know it.
1919 Root Beer on Draft - Andrew's pro tip is to get your 1919 Root Beer, take a few sips and then walk over to the nitro ice cream booth and top it off with a few scoops of frozen ice cream for the ultimate root beer float on a hot day.
Midtown Global Market - You never know what you will find in the Midtown Global Market. Zimmern describes it as "a shining beam of fresh produce among a sea of deep-fried gut busters"
Sausage By Cynthia - Zimmern says that Cynthia's unique sausage creations are his favorite at the fair, but the real reason you should stop there is to pick up some beef jerky. He claims it is the best beef jerky in America.